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This page describes the XML format used for roslaunch .launch files. For background on roslaunch, its functionality, and related tools, please consult the roslaunch page first.

Evaluation order

roslaunch evaluates the XML file in a single pass. Includes are processed in depth-first traversal order. Tags are evaluated serially and the last setting wins. Thus, if there are multiple settings of a parameter, the last value specified for the parameter will be used.

Relying on the override behavior can be brittle. There is no guarantee that an override is specified correctly (e.g. if a parameter name is changed in an included file). Instead, it is recommended that override behavior be done using $(arg)/<arg> settings.

substitution args

Roslaunch tag attributes can make use of substitution args, which roslaunch will resolve prior to launching nodes. The currently supported substitution args are:

Substitution args are currently resolved on the local machine. In other words, environment variables and ROS package paths will be set to their values in your current environment, even for remotely launched processes.

if and unless attributes

All tags support if and unless attributes, which include or exclude a tag based on the evaluation of a value. "1" and "true" are considered true values. "0" and "false" are considered false values. Other values will error.


Tag Reference

Example .launch XML Config Files

NOTE: by convention, the roslaunch XML files are named with the extension .launch, e.g. example.launch.

Minimal Example

The following example shows a minimal launch configuration script. It launches a single 'talker' node, which is part of the 'rospy_tutorials' package. This node will launch on the local machine using the currently configured ROS environment (i.e. ROS_ROOT, etc...).

  <node name="talker" pkg="rospy_tutorials" type="talker" />

A More Complicated Example

  <!-- local machine already has a definition by default.
       This tag overrides the default definition with
       specific ROS_ROOT and ROS_PACKAGE_PATH values -->
  <machine name="local_alt" address="localhost" default="true" ros-root="/u/user/ros/ros/" ros-package-path="/u/user/ros/ros-pkg" />
  <!-- a basic listener node -->
  <node name="listener-1" pkg="rospy_tutorials" type="listener" />
  <!-- pass args to the listener node -->
  <node name="listener-2" pkg="rospy_tutorials" type="listener" args="-foo arg2" />
  <!-- a respawn-able listener node -->
  <node name="listener-3" pkg="rospy_tutorials" type="listener" respawn="true" />
  <!-- start listener node in the 'wg1' namespace -->
  <node ns="wg1" name="listener-wg1" pkg="rospy_tutorials" type="listener" respawn="true" />
  <!-- start a group of nodes in the 'wg2' namespace -->
  <group ns="wg2">
    <!-- remap applies to all future statements in this scope. -->
    <remap from="chatter" to="hello"/>
    <node pkg="rospy_tutorials" type="listener" name="listener" args="--test" respawn="true" />
    <node pkg="rospy_tutorials" type="talker" name="talker">
      <!-- set a private parameter for the node -->
      <param name="talker_1_param" value="a value" />
      <!-- nodes can have their own remap args -->
      <remap from="chatter" to="hello-1"/>
      <!-- you can set environment variables for a node -->
      <env name="ENV_EXAMPLE" value="some value" />

Setting parameters

You can also set parameters on the Parameter Server. These parameters will be stored on the Parameter Server before any nodes are launched.

You can omit the type attribute if value is unambiguous. Supported types are str, int, double, bool. You can also specify the contents of a file instead using the textfile or binfile attributes.


  <param name="somestring1" value="bar" />
  <!-- force to string instead of integer -->
  <param name="somestring2" value="10" type="str" />

  <param name="someinteger1" value="1" type="int" />
  <param name="someinteger2" value="2" />

  <param name="somefloat1" value="3.14159" type="double" />
  <param name="somefloat2" value="3.0" />

  <!-- you can set parameters in child namespaces -->
  <param name="wg/childparam" value="a child namespace parameter" />

  <!-- upload the contents of a file to the server -->
  <param name="configfile" textfile="$(find roslaunch)/example.xml" />
  <!-- upload the contents of a file as base64 binary to the server -->
  <param name="binaryfile" binfile="$(find roslaunch)/example.xml" />


2019-07-13 13:06